November 10 2015

Selectmen to Set FY16 Tax Rate on Monday

By: Rich Hosford

The Board of Selectmen will hold the annual Tax Classification Hearing during the meeting on Monday, November 16.


This meeting will be held at 6:45 p.m. in the School Committee room in Burlington High School due to a special Town Meeting that will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the school auditorium.   


During the hearing the board will set the property tax rate for Fiscal Year 2016 (FY16). Burlington has a split tax rate, meaning that residents pay one amount and commercial, industrial and personal property owners, effectively meaning businesses in town, pay another rate. The big decision for the board is how to split the tax burden between residents and businesses. 


The first major factor is setting the tax rates is to hit necessary tax levy to keep services, pay town employees and make payments on debt, among other expenses. This amount normally goes up each year. In FY15 the tax levy was $95,618,308. For FY16 the levy will be around $99.3 million  


During the meeting on Monday Town Accountant Paul Sagarino said that this year the tax levy is set about $6.2 million lower than the levy limit. 


 The second thing that comes into play is the total assessed value of the residential and commercial properties in town. Property tax rates are set as the amount a homeowner or business must pay per $1,000 of assessed value. This year the increase in the value of property was relatively small compared to other years. The residential value went up 2.3 percent and commercial properties went up 8.4 percent.  


Finally, the board must decide on the split between residents and C.I.P. In recent years the split has been about 40 percent for residential properties and 60 percent for commercial properties, meaning that though the total value of residential properties in town far exceeds commercial properties ($3.3 billion to $2.1 billion), businesses carry the majority of the tax burden. 



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